Vancouver, British Columbia [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The recent launch in Beijing of three Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses, powered with Ballard heavy-duty fuel cell engines, demonstrates China’s ability to use hydrogen as a clean, efficient, safe and sustainable energy resource. The buses will go into service in Beijing to show the viability of fuel cell power for daily operation of transit buses under specific climatic and topographical conditions.“China, with its booming economy and the fastest growing auto market in the world, is in a perfect position to be an important leader in making fuel cell technology the ultimate zero-emission automotive solution,” said John Sheridan, Ballard Power Systems’ Chairman and Interim President and Chief Executive Officer. “Fuel cells — and fuel cells alone — address the challenges of energy security, diminishing oil reserves, urban air quality and energy efficiency. China is to be commended for its leadership and commitment to zero emission urban transit.” Sheridan attended the launch in Beijing, China, along with representatives from Ballard’s Alliance partner, DaimlerChrysler, and Chinese industry and government officials including the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology; additional support came from the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Program. With Ballard’s Alliance partner, DaimlerChrysler, this demonstration is similar to others currently under way in Europe and Australia. “Governments and regions around the world are assembling the building blocks of the hydrogen economy in fuel cell vehicle demonstrations,” said Sheridan. “Fuel cells and hydrogen can play a critical role in the development of a sustainable transportation strategy in China. Fleet demonstrations, like the one here in Beijing, will seed the market and will provide many people with the opportunity to experience first-hand the clean, quiet and comfortable ride of zero-emission transportation alternatives.” Ballard has demonstrated close to 50 buses (fuel cell and fuel cell hybrid) in 12 countries, testing five generations of heavy-duty fuel cell bus engines since 1993. Further, Ballard fuel cells currently power three Gillig-built fuel cells buses in Santa Clara, California.